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Secretary/Administrative Professional Week
EA Moodyweb
Jackie Moody - photo by Edith Anderson / Coastal Courier
This first person you meet when you go to the Liberty County Cooperative Extension Service is Dianne Barnard. She also normally answers the phone when you call.
The last four of her 23 years as a secretary have been with the University of Georgia affiliate that doles out advice and information on everything from youth activities to yard pests.
So she and hundreds of other people who assure the day-to-day operations of businesses and other organizations, like Jackie Moody at Gum Branch Baptist Church, have being honored this past week. April 20-26 was National Professional Secretary's Week and Wednesday was National Secretary's Day.
Since becoming a secretary, Barnard has seen the role of the position evolve tremendously, even changing the name in some cases from secretary to something like administrative or professional assistant.
"When I first started, we didn't have computers. Now, a lot of correspondence is done via email," she said.
Barnard serves as secretary to Robert Bell, county coordinator for the Extension. She performs a wide range of duties for the office, including assisting with the 4-H Program, agricultural care, and helping with 4-H Camp.
She previously worked at a community college in New Jersey and an insurance business in Virginia.
"I love serving and helping people. I become frustrated when I cannot help and provide people what they need," Barnard said.
In her spare time, she says she enjoys reading and sewing. She also loves children. She and her husband, Ernest, live in Allenhurst and have two children and seven grandchildren.
Moody has served Gum Branch Baptist for 23 years.
"I started out working three hours a day, two days a week. Now, I work Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.," she said.  
Since becoming the church's secretary, Moody has served under three pastors. Her current pastor is the Rev. David Daus.
"Pastor David Daus is a wonderful pastor."
A typical day at the office for her involves answering the phone, scheduling meetings and appointments, receiving visitors, preparing the church bulletins and financial reports and filing.
Prior to becoming the secretary at the church, Moody worked pm Fort Stewart in the Military Personnel Division.
"I enjoy helping people and making sure things are done. I am a behind the scene person," she said.   
Moody and her husband Don have one daughter and two grandchildren.
"A grandson was born on Monday," she said.
Her husband works with the Liberty County Sheriff Department as a school resource officer at Liberty County High School.
Moody remembers the days of electric typewriters.
"I now have a computer and have learned a lot from different people who I have worked with. Susan Dickey works part-time in the office with me, and she is wonderful. I could not do it without her."

Origins of week
Harry F. Klemfuss established National Professional Secretary's Week and National Secretary's Day in 1952. Klemfuss recognized a secretary's value. Utilizing his experience in public relations, he promoted the importance of the secretary's job.
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